Advantage Miss Navratilova

November 17, 2008 -

John Heald

If American Airlines was the snake in the garden of Eden, Eve would have paid for her own apple………………………..bloody hell……………$2 for a pair of headphones to watch a movie that has been cut so much as not to offend children, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Vegetarians and the French it lasts 20 minutes

At least bankers only steal from us. They don’t make us feel dirty, too. The time will soon come, I am sure, when the cabin crew of your average flight to a misnamed airport only a three-hour train ride from the middle of nowhere will spend the entire journey parading around with expensive food and drink on bits of string on the end of sticks, which they will dangle in front of our hungry, hungry noses. Or maybe they will just strap us into our seats and slap us around the face.

Whack! “Hungry, are you?” Whack! “Haven’t eaten in five hours?” Whack! “Bet you feel pretty stupid now, eh? When you could have had a McBurgerwhopper in the airport? Well, that’ll be $89.95 for a BLT, sir or are you a madam. Cry all you like. Yeah, and your toddler, too. What’s that? Haven’t any money? Spent it at check-in because your suitcase is bigger than a ziplock bag? Give us your watch then if you want to eat.” ………………..nope……………..well bugger off then you can starve then.

Good morning from Boston, Mass…………I write just Mass because I can’t spell Massachuseus………….as you have just seen. Sorry to start all grumpy but I have just had enough of flying having done so much these last few weeks. I am sure it’s not just American Airlines but is it just me …………has flying become such a challenge that most of us would rather shove a scorpion down our underpants than have to board an aircraft.

Yesterday’s flight was yet another example of the “CCL” attitude they have………………in this case “CCL ” stands for “Couldn’t Care Less .” There was no welcome aboard from the flight attendants who seemed to actually have their backs to the boarding passengers …………….chatting no doubt about who the Captain is having rumpy pumpy with.

My traveling companion this time was a lady in her 50’s who looked the spitting image of Martina Navritola. She was a miserable sod and this was proven once we took off…………….and I will tell you about that in a minute.

But first let me tell you that our flight took off 1 hour and ten minutes late……………this was due to a Maintenance Issue as we were told by our Captain. Now, this news should have prompted the air crew to walk up and down the aisle checking if everyone was OK…………………maybe offer us a luxury item like…………..ummmmm…………water. …………………..but nope…………….they just stood and chatted and laughed. Now, if they had been young and blonde I would have put this down to inexperience but the crew were all older than me……………..I was sure I had seen one of them on a rerun of the Golden Girls. And so I sat there reading my Cigar Aficionado magazine as the projected 1 hour and ten minutes delay turned into 1 hour and 30 minutes and then……………..without warning or further apology from the Captain or crew the engines started and we buggered off to Boston. OH………………how the airlines could learn from us and their CCL attitude could be turned into a ………………..CCL attitude…………..if you know what I mean.

I will come back to the Martina Navratilova lookalike, my flight companion, a little later.

Did you see yesterday’s Bond blog. I hope I didn’t upset too many Daniel Craig fans with my opinion of what I thought was a pretty crappy movie. This got me thinking…………and so it’s time to do another poll. Firstly, Stephanie will post the results of the Anytime Dining vs the Assigned Seating Dining which I think you will find very interesting……………..and something I will talk about in the days ahead.

Hi Everyone,

Here are the poll results for the anytime dining vs. assisgned seating dining.

Drum roll please…..

Assigned Dining 459 votes 59%
Anytime Dining 315 votes 41%

Anyway, time for today’s poll which is.

Answers will be posted on Tuesday.

So, in a few minutes I will be off to my meeting here in Boston. We will be talking about Carnival Unscripted which is going to involve me and you doing some really great stuff together. We will also chat about some wonderful and quite brilliant ideas which our marketing team and our new friends from Arnold have come up with. I will tell you more soon. Now, I know many of you have already written in seemingly thrilled that I will be doing a lot of Caribbean Cruise Directing next year and you want to know what ship. The answer is I don’t know and won’t know for a few weeks. But as soon as I know which ship I will be treading the stage on in February, March and April……………I promise to let you know. I really think this is the best option and honestly I miss entertaining………what do you think………….is this a good thing?

Yesterday, I also told everyone about The Best Blogs At Sea…………..written by The Best Cruise Lines at Sea. I wanted everyone’s blog under one website thingy and so with the wonderful help of Bill Harber at Carnival Corp my dream has become reality………..if only my dream of owning an Aston Martin would. Anyway, I hope that you will all have a look at regular intervals at www.bestblogsatsea.com because they are…..the best blogs…………….at sea.

I am writing this part of the today’s blog thingy from my new raspberry which is called a “Bold.” I miss my old one as the keys were bigger ………..however…………I have a much bigger problem to face. That’s because when I get home to the UK I will need to buy a new cell phone to use in the UK. This is because my raspberry has a US number and while I have no problem in knowing that my mates Alan and Danny will spend a fortune calling a US number from England when I am in England………….I don’t want my parents or Heidi for that matter having to pay. So next week…………that’s me off to the cell phone shop and what a selection we face these days.

All of them, if you have fingers the width of surgical probes, can access the internet, receive emails, take super-sharp pictures, give you the weather conditions in Botswana and be used as a hand-held satellite navigator with the built in GPS thingy

Some can even be used for making telephone calls as well.

But being a backward soul, I can’t really understand how any of them work, or why I might need to watch a teenagers damage their scrotums in skateboarding accidents on YouTube.

I was beginning to give up hope when, my mind turned to a phone Roger Blum still has………….he keeps it next to his eight track stereo . It’s a Nokia 6210 and I know all it does is make phone calls.

Sure, it is unable to bring me any pornography and it has no clue about the weather in California but for ringing my wife to say “I am on my way home, make sure my dinner is ready and my slippers are by the fire, it’s just perfect.

So there you are. If you want a new phone which actually works, for years, on a single charge, the Nokia 6210 is your answer.

Of course, you can’t actually buy one new any more but I see eBay is littered with them with prices starting at just $18.

Here is a photo of the phone in question.

phone-jh-blog1

I knew I was in Boston when the driver who had been sent to collect me said that his vehicle was in the “Caahpaak?” …………….Miami felt a long way away. ……there the driver would have said El Caro Iso Ino Las Carparko.

This had been a strange trip. It had started earlier when myself and lots of other passengers suddenly found that there was an extra security check as we boarded the flight. It seemed that at all the gates there were members of the Miami Border Protection checking everyone’s I.D. It was soon my turn and the Officer asked me where I am residing. “A hotel in Boston!” I tell him, confidently, but apparently that’s wrong, because he then said without breaking the stern, slightly constipated look on his face, which country I reside in. “The UK,” I said and just to make sure I added all the other connotations “Britain. England and Essex.

Once in the car the driver immediately launched into a tiring nonstop novel about something called “The Big Dig.” He rattled on and on about tunnels and how it took too long to build and how the government was corrupt and how the new President was………well……….I can’t actually write what he said but let’s just say I think he was a McCain supporter……………..I was already exhausted and if he hadn’t been driving I would have put my foot up his tunnel. Eventually he came up for air and asked me a strange question. He didn’t say “where are you from .” ……..he said……………”what race are you?”

Trying to be funny and hoping that my slightly flippant answer would stop his incessant talking I said “I’m human!”

He sounded more thrilled than ever. “You’re Cuban?”…………..and for the next 15 minutes I listened to his views on Castro……………………bugger.

OK, time to go to the meeting and then to the airport to fly home to see Heidi. I will write a blog tomorrow once I am home to let you all know I am safe and sound. I want to say hank you to all of the people who have looked after me these past four weeks………..especially to my friends Roger and Marie Blum and of course the Bentley’s. A special thank you to PA 007 who took me to a Denny’s for breakfast and who I should tell you keeps a Victoria Secrets catalogue in his cubicle drawer.

And a special thank you to Jordan, Tom , Walter and Tony from the Interactive thingy team who made the videos and all the work I did so much easier and Vance from PR who is so important to what we do here And…………Stephanie who looked after my travel, my health and of course the blog…………….thanks Steph.

And so its home to Heidi I go and I can’t wait to see her. I will send a photo tomorrow for you.
I can only hope my flight is better than yesterday’s. As I said earlier, my travel companion was a very stern woman who looked like the tennis player Martina Navratilova. I was going to pass the time we spent waiting for the flight to take off in idol conversation but Miss Navratilova had already been swearing and muttering under her breath when the delay was announced. As time dragged on she got more and more uptight and clenched her fists…………..I was worried she may explode. I just sat ……….reading my magazine ………….quietly and I admit………….a little scared of the former Wimbledon Champion.

After the plane took off the Captain turned off the seat belt sign and having finished my magazine (which by the way had 145 pages of which 143 were advertising) so I asked the Miss Navratilova look-alike if she didn’t mind getting out of her aisle seat so I could get to my carry on as I wanted my portable DVD thingy player.

She looked at me as though I had asked her to take off all her clothes and do something naughty with a tennis racket…………….she glared and made a “huummmmmppppphhh “ sound…………….eventually she stood up and allowed me out of the seat all the time making “tutting noises” while she waited. I grabbed the DVD player and sat down as quickly as I could………………….she was one scary woman …………..why couldn’t I just once…………sit next to Anna Kournikova.

It was an hour into the flight that I realized I needed to pee………quite badly. I looked out of the corner of my eye at the short haired US Open winner and woman’s activist next to me. She was reading a book which was probably called “All Men Are Bastards ” and for a moment I contemplated asking her if she would get up so I could have a wee wee. She must have sensed this because she looked at me………..and that looked said that if I dared to ask her to move I would find a certain popular tennis phrase very applicable……………………………. “New Balls Please.”

Goodnight
Your friend
John

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.